That's not about teaching noobs the basics of the game nor a good alternative to the in-game tutorial. It's a college course proposed by David Friedman, an economics professor at a law school. World of Warcraft 101 (as I would like to call it) looks into the intricate market of WoW, an aspect of the game Friedman knows very well as he himself is a player.
"WoW has markets and prices, including an auction house with many buyers, many sellers, and a wide range of products for sale. Prices are readily observed—starting prices, buyout prices, relative prices at one time, changes over time. Actual sales prices are a bit harder, but if your students are active players they are probably buying and selling things and could be persuaded to keep track of prices paid and received and make the information available to the rest of the class."
Not a bad idea really, and certainly not a new one. Classes based on popular media have appeared before like "The Science of Harry Potter" in Frostberg State University and "Simpsons and Philosophy" in University of California at Berkeley. Friedman is positive that the interactive nature of the game will keep the students involved and interested in the subject, not to mention the fun and excitement of the game itself.
Read David Friedman's blog
Source: World of Warcraft as a College Course?